Council Notes Sept. 24, 2013


Councillors Mackay (acting mayor); McPherson (chair); Snyder; Caisley; Litster

Policies and Priorities

Business arising from the minutes:

Councillor Caisley asked if there is an update on the marketing land for development?

Mr. Elliott said, “I haven’t compiled the information for further information for council. I was away for a couple of weeks. I’ll get it as quickly as I can.”

Councillor Snyder asked about the traffic light repairs at Mackenzie and Willow. Doug Beale explained there were parts ordered before he took the position. The base pole was the wrong part for that application. Mr. Beale says the Civil Engineer Technician Brent has found the correct pole and base. The crosswalk light should be operating in about four weeks says Beale.

Councillor McPherson asked if we have to get another licence of operation to do work at the boat launch.

Mr. Elliott said, “The licence of use was to expand into a further area where you may want some camping and amenities. You already have the licence of occupation for the boat launch and the parking area that was accepted by the Province. The remaining piece of work to be done is to come up with a development plan for the rest of it. Once we have a sense of what council is agreeing to, we can move forward and apply for that licence. It doesn’t affect the current licence of use for the boat launch. The two could be amalgamated at some time to be one instead of two.”

There has been a sketch done (of boat launch area) by Lisa (no mention of last name), which has been asked to be brought before Council.

Councillor Snyder asked about the Fee for Service Policy. Miss Laporte said they are working on it. Mr. Elliott said they will present Council with a timetable next week.

Councillor Mackay asked if the grant writer would be coming before council. At the UBCM they talked about the importance of having shelf ready projects because there is going to be a lot of grant money coming up.

“I’ll contact her and make that arrangement for her to attend quickly,” said Mr. Elliott.

The Tumbler Ridge Flag – should the green boarder be changed the blue? Find out by reading the story on page 3.


Regular Meeting of Council

Petitions and Delegations:

Tumble Ridge Garden Club President Ellen Sager thanked Public Works for their help with maintaining the Hartford Gardens and for painting the caboose.

Forever Young Society – Oct 1 was proclaimed International and National Seniors Day. Ellen Sager, president, requested a proclamation to declare it Seniors Day for the municipality. Council issued the proclamation.

“Whereas seniors are present in all aspects of our lives. They are our parents; our grandparents; our teachers; our mentors; our neighbours and our coworkers. National Seniors Day’s focus is on recognizing the contribution seniors make in their communities, families and workplaces.

Deputy Mayor Mackay presented the proclamation to Ellen Sager.

TR Youth Services Society (TRYSS) came in with update. Councillor Litster excused herself as part of the board. The Chair of TRYSS, Matthew Westergard came to speak. He said they have been working together for four to five months, looking after youth of TR in their own small way. They oversee the operation of the drop-in centre and provide leadership and directive to the youth coordinator. The space is open 25.5 hours per week, Tues to Sat afternoons and evenings. He said the youth are served well by having a place that is safe, a place of refuge that is their spot.

They conducted a survey. “The one thing that comes back is the youth feel safe there, and there aren’t many of those spaces in Tumbler Ridge that is their space,” he said.

Councillor Snyder said he was happy we have a youth society and a place for youth to go. He was curious about budgets for previous years 2011–2013 having said no money was going into programming.

Westergard explained the district grant doesn’t go towards programming, it goes towards staff salary as outlined in their grant and aid application. This was a condition imposed by the District a few years ago. The centre has setup a youth council. They organize events such as dances and ski trips, all planned through the youth centre. Financially, they don’t receive funding for that.

Their mission statement is empowering youth to make their own decisions. “We have to allow the youth to make their own decisions as far as what they would like to see happen. If we are always setting up their programming for them, they are never going to grow,” said Westergard.

The Centre had about 250 youth visitors in 2012, up from about 190 in 2011.

Councillor Caisley says if there is ever funding required for programming, and the society needs assistance, Council would be willing to help.

Tumbler Ridge Forever Young Society President Ellen Sager expressed support to the District in its efforts to get nurses to come to Tumbler Ridge. To view the letter, visit page 5.

Mayor’s Task Force on Seniors’ Needs Strategic Plan Report- Dave Price submitted the final report card on the Tumbler Ridge Strategic Plan for Seniors’ Issues. Focal points of this report are housing and health care. To view the report visit the Tumbler Ridge website.

New Business:

The fire department has requested a road closure, for Founders St. between Main St. and the entrance to the parking lot at the back of Town Hall for about one hour on Sat Sept 28, 2013.

The fire department will use the background of Town Hall for a photograph of the fire apparatus. The picture will be used for mementoes and gifts.

Capital project completion strategy September 2013. Council received a report about the progress of the capital projects. As of now, the completed projects represent about 22 percent of the expenditure of capital, or $1,626,012 of $5,666,440 budgeted. Councillor Litster brought up the idea of having staff submit a quarterly report to council giving updates and definitive information about the progress of capital projects. This will help council know what projects will not be completed and this money can then be reallocated if needed.

Councillor Caisley turned this into a motion and it was passed all in favour. Staff will be re-submitting a more detailed report for this year as soon as possible.

District approves buying of equipment to begin recycling asphalt in first steps towards road maintenance strategy. Full story on page 8.

Councillors’ Business:

Snyder: Participated in the fire truck pull and the volunteer barbecue. Mentioned at the volunteer barbecue, when receiving recognition, it should be announced what the person volunteered for.

On Sept. 9 Senior’s Task Force was meant to have a phone call with BC Housing; however the phone wouldn’t work, so they need to reschedule the talk. Happy that in the senior’s housing, the area where the ambulance couldn’t get through the concrete barriers has been repaired.

Attended Mass registration—figure skating was packed.

Had fun at the UBCM. It was a week of fun, meetings, learning. Main points brought up; needing the financial support of the banks to get business going, and to work towards a well-trained workforce. Met with Union of BC Ambulance. They are part of a bargaining unit, which also includes doctors and nurses. They need six units to be allowed to work under paramedicine.

The best meeting he attended was the responsible resource development workshop, with ministry heads, for example Bill Bennett of the Ministry of Mines and Rich Coleman, minister of natural gas development and minister responsible for housing. Councillor Snyder was upset that minister Coleman stated liquefied natural gas will take over the market. Snyder would like council to write a letter about this statement.

Caisley: on Sept. 13 he met with CDI about health, safety, social services. There were about 14 residents at the meeting. The full report is coming. The TR population is much more stable than it was in 2001, but there lacks professionals, i.e. physiotherapy, chiropractor.

At UBCM it was discussed that the BC Ambulance system is broken.

He was taken by the presentation about setting municipal budgets, asset management and finance management. When you balance the budget ask yourself is this the right budget?

Learned about eight good habits and ways to help engage citizens.

McPherson: Attended the poker run, the fire truck pull, the show and shine.

At UBCM focused much of his time on ATV information. For example the use of ATVs on public roads, the licensing of ATVs. He thinks we may be able to have designated trails. Once he knows more, he will bring forward a report.

Councillor Caisley told Councillor McPherson about an idea he has to solve the nursing situation in Tumbler Ridge. More on this at the P&P meeting two meetings from now.

Councillor McPherson would like follow-up done with the Ministers Council met with at the UBCM to keep discussions going.

Litster: On Sept 5, she met with Dr. Helm about the nursing situation and had great dialogue. On Sept. 7 she pulled a fire truck. Litster tried to meet with Darryl regarding BC Ambulance and the paramedic situation before the UBCM but it didn’t happen. On Sept 13 she attended the CDI meeting. With Councillor Snyder, she met with Ambulance Paramedics Union of BC. Watched presentation about having paramedics hired by the district as the first responder and backing up homecare services. The group is willing to come up and make a presentation to council.

Also attended the eight habits of effective citizen engagement and met with Bill Bennett from Energy and Mines.

Finally, had a meeting with Terry Lake, minster of health, who “listened to concerns but offered no solution.”

Mackay: Attended fire truck pull and the volunteer appreciation. At the UBCM enjoyed learning about the seniors’ group success story in a small town who organizes bus tours, trip clubs, lunch-in dates, walking groups, balance classes, handy persons resource lists for repairs, buddy systems, with an abundance of members.

Infrastructure funding was a major topic. He said, “When a regulation comes out for water and sewer there is a great deal of money involved. Some of these smaller communities, they are suffering.” The objective is regulations should come alongside funding.

There was a discussion on ground field remediation. The Ministry of Environment should be more involved in converting tainted sites. Emergency evacuation was another discussion.

Gas tax funds should be allocated for water and sewer. “That was where they were supposed to be going,” said Councillor Mackay.

Learned about how to transition from a resource community to one based around tourism.